Undervalued Auto Industry Stocks

Chris is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

Note: Due to an impending merger, we have removed Cooper Tire from this article. Motley Fool apologizes for its initial inclusion.

The auto industry has been hit very hard over the last few years, and most investors have turned away from the once-booming sector.  As a result, there is value to be found in the auto industry and money to be made. Additionally, with the city of Detroit claiming bankruptcy in mid-July, the motor city has subsequently injected more value into many of the auto industry stocks by creating a discount.

The stocks mentioned herein are the most undervalued stocks I came across during my research for attractive investments, and stocks that investors should certainly consider for both the near and long-term. 


Advanced Auto Parts (NYSE: AAP) is an auto parts and accessories retailer. The company is strong in certain geographical regions, which is a small competitive advantage to keep distribution efficient. It has been restructuring and increasing margins while growing revenue over the last few years, and its cost structure is a competitive advantage to many smaller stores, but lags its few larger peers.

This could be a solid long-term investment, not just a trade on the auto industry making a full rebound. Trading at $82.56, the shares are still trading well below the 52-week high of $88.74 and below the discounted cash flow analysis recommendation of $95.

Last year, Advanced Auto Parts was rumored to be in the early stages of discussions with private equity about a potential buyout. Rumors have died down, but it's still something that should be kept in mind. Deutsche Bank upgraded shares of Advance Auto Parts from a Hold rating to a Buy rating, noting that the company is trading at a steep discount relative to it's reward profile. 

General Motors (NYSE: GM) emerged from the bankruptcy in July 2009. It is one of the world’s largest automobile makers with roots dating back to 1908 and produces cars and trucks in 30 different countries. During the first quarter, GM acquired Ally International (the international division of its old finance subsidiary, GMAC) and announced record vehicle sales in China where the company has an approximate 15% market share. Warren Buffet increased his ownership of GM stock to 25 million shares and the stock finally surpassed it's IPO price of $33 in May. 

After performing a discounted cash flow analysis projecting earnings five years forward, while discounting against the S&P 500, my conclusion is that the shares are worth $41 today, making it 14% undervalued. Moreover, the company is trading at 1.71 times book value. 

Foolish conclusion

The auto industry has been pain-stricken for many, many years, but the change in consumer sentiment and revival of the global economy since 2008 has created some excellent investment opportunities. The aforementioned stocks are all trading at discounts, and if investors want to find some of the best deals in the market today, look no further than the auto-industry. 

China is already the world's largest auto market -- and it's set to grow even bigger in coming years. A recent Motley Fool report, "2 Automakers to Buy for a Surging Chinese Market," names two global giants poised to reap big gains that could drive big rewards for investors. You can read this report right now for free -- just click here for instant access.

Chris Johnson has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends General Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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